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You've carved your pumpkin, scraped out the innards and flesh, and got your Jack O Lantern in the window with the tealight burning away inside. But now you've got a bowl of leftover pumpkin guts, and it seems a shame to waste them. Thankfully, we've got a few top ideas to stop you from throwing away those delicious globules of string, flesh, and seeds.
Autumn is the perfect season for soup. There's little better than sitting down to a piping hot bowl of soup on a cold day and dipping a gooey cheese toasty into the warming concoction for a delicious treat. Roast up your pumpkin leftovers with a little butternut squash, saute onion and garlic, and blend the two together with some vegetable stock or coconut milk and plenty of warming spices such as chilli, paprika, turmeric, cumin, or anything else you have lurking in your spice rack. To finish, add a swirl of cream and sprinkle over some of the pumpkin seeds.
If soup isn't your thing, you can make a broth for other dishes by simmering the pumpkin with onion, carrot, celery, and anything else you have lurking at the back of your pantry. Once simmered for about an hour, strain your delicious broth and freeze for use whenever you like.
Pumpkin seeds are a tasty, healthy snack suitable for eating on their own or thrown into dishes such as salads, soups, bread, and risotto. Simply pick out the seeds from the strings, spread them onto a baking tray and add some olive oil and seasoning. Classic seasonings for seeds include sea salt, chilli, and cinnamon sugar. Once you've sorted your flavours, roast them in the oven for about ten minutes and set them aside to cool before chowing down!
There are many nutrients in pumpkin that are great for your skin, such as enzymes and anti-oxidants, Vitamins A, B, C, and E, and more, making it the perfect ingredient for skincare. Puree your leftover pumpkin - cooked or raw, it's up to you, add some sugar, a carrier oil such as olive oil or sweet almond oil, and finish it with some cinnamon. This scrub uses your leftover pumpkin and makes for an excellent gift for anyone with late October or early November birthdays.
Baking sweet treats is one of the most popular things to do with your leftover pumpkin. You can make traditional American Pumpkin Pie with crunchy pastry, a silky smooth filling beautifully spiced, finished with a helping of whipped cream topped with pumpkin seeds and pecans, a true autumnal favourite! If you're looking for something a little healthier, you can try Pumpkin Muffins topped with oats and the salvaged seeds, or make a bread or loaf, once again, finished with seeds and a delicious slather of butter, or as a side dish for winter warmer meals. There are many recipes online for these bakes, so pick a favourite and try something new!
Keep a few seeds back to plant in spring ready for harvesting in September and October. Before planting, make sure the seeds are clean and dry, spreading them on a paper towel and leaving them in a cool, dry place for about a week.
Top Tip: When getting enough guts to reuse, scrape out as much as possible before carving the pumpkin. Try scraping the innards into a bowl until your pumpkin wall is about 1cm thick. Not only will you have lots of delicious pumpkin to use, but it will also make carving your pumpkin design much easier. It's best not to reuse your pumpkin after Halloween, as by that point, the smoke from the candles and being outside for a few days or weeks will have affected its quality. Take as much flesh as you can before adding your tealights.
For more inspiration this Halloween, check out our full spooky collection.